First Time Publishing a Book

Well, it finally happened! The cookbook is out on Amazon, and since this whole process has been pretty intense for me I thought I would walk you through the steps.  Please keep in mind I have absolutely no idea what I am doing here, and I am absolutely sure there are better ways to self-publish a book, but this was the path I went on. So let me step back a little.

I have always wanted to write a book.  Over the years I have kept a notebook full of ideas, some more developed than others, but never had the time to go much further than a broad outline.  The ideas were always fictional books in the fantasy/sci-fi genre though, because those are the types of books I like to read.  Completely separate from that, when we first started camping in 2013 I had this idea that I would cook the bulk of our meals over a campfire.  Because I didn’t have many campfire recipes I started collecting them almost immediately and added them to the early posts in the blog.  Really the main reason I added them was because I didn’t want to forget them, plus I thought it was a cool way to fill out a blog post and provide a little value to people. Truly nothing more than that, but it is kind of interesting that the very first recipe I put in a post, made it into the book.

Once we became full timers I quickly realized that campfire cooking was really not that practical, but not all of my standard recipes worked in the RV.  Lack of room for ingredients and minimal space for prep really made it challenging.  Plus the propane oven cooked very unevenly and there was definitely a learning curve.  So I started collecting recipes that worked, and again I started putting them in the blog.  I have a pretty battered hand written recipe book that I had been using for years and brought with me, but I liked the idea of having them online so I could access them via my iPad.  I also started gathering recipes from friends.  We spent lots of time with other couples in Year 1 and sometimes you just have to get a person’s recipe.  There was quite a bit of that.

As my collection of recipes started to grow, and I started having fun in the kitchen again, I started thinking about putting the collection together formally.  I’ve thought long and hard about the appropriate way (if any) to monetize this site, and I always felt it would be best if I offered something that had intrinsic value.  I still think the best example of this is the RV-Dreams Budget spreadsheets.  I  purchased them when we were early in our research phase, used them religiously, and they provided me value. We still use those spreadsheets to this day. So I could support them and have something of value.  That made sense to me.  The problem was I couldn’t figure out anything that I could actually offer.  But with these recipes, well, I really started to feel like I might have something.  Plus since I knew I wanted to publish a book at some point, I thought this might be a way to get my feet wet, so to speak.

When we were in Alaska and business got very slow towards the end of the season I took the time to do some research.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t do nearly enough research, but since I was looking specifically for a recipe book template, my choices were somewhat limited.  Formatting a recipe book is not easy, and there were very few templates that I liked, but finally I found a good one in a program called Bookwright.  This free tool was associated with a book publishing company called Blurb and although I didn’t do nearly enough research I did do enough to find out that for a one-time fee of $9.99 you could use the tool and get an electronic copy in a tablet friendly format.  Sold!

I then spent whatever free time I could over the next several months getting my existing recipes into the new format.  I had to learn the software. I had to figure out where to place everything, and most importantly I had to decide on categories.  I knew early on that I wanted categories that were somewhat RV specific so I ended up with Happy Hour, Pot Luck Dishes, Travel Days, Pressure Cooker, Dinners for Two, Side Dishes, Regional Specialties, and Desserts.  Then I had to take my existing recipes and put them in the best suited category.  Once that was done I had to fill in the gaps.  I decided that I wanted 10 recipes per category.  I know that’s somewhat arbitrary, but I like round numbers and it was important to me each section was even.  But that meant I had to finish out each section.  All of this took several months, mainly because we were very busy at the Beet Harvest and Christmas Trees, but when I could I tried new recipes to fill in the gaps.  Progress was slow though, because most of the recipes I tried just weren’t good enough, but I was picking away at it and then finally we started gate guarding.

Lee and I settled on a work schedule to ensure that I would be able to make dinners, and I made a big push to finish up.  Every night was a new meal and Lee was really a trooper, although occasionally he did want to eat something that we knew would work.  Don’t get me wrong, very few of the recipes we tested were inedible, but many of them were simply mediocre, and even though I was close to the finish line, I just didn’t want to cut corners.  Finally I was down to needing one solid stir fry recipe, and after three attempts we judged it good enough.  I am actually making one of those versions in the cover photo.  Oh, and that was the other thing.  I needed a good picture for every recipe and didn’t have a good one for many of the older recipes.  So I remade meals and took better pictures and then asked Lee to take the cover photo.  I knew what I was looking for in my mind, but explaining that to Lee was a bit tough and we were both a bit cranky that day.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I liked one the pictures and decided on the spot to use it.  I am not what I consider photogenic, but Lee got a nice one of me laughing at something he said, and most importantly it was a real picture, of a real person, cooking in their real RV.  Done!

cover1000

The book was finally made, and now came the editing.  Let me just say I have a tremendous amount of respect for professional copy editors after that experience.  The formatting had to be adjusted, spell checking, grammar checking, and every time I reviewed it I found something else.  Lee looked at it, I sent it to people who had contributed recipes to get their feedback, and we looked at it again.  The problem is the mind tricks you.  You see what you want to see, and when I discovered that several of the recipes steps were numbered incorrectly and despite numerous reviews neither one of us had caught the mistake I almost threw up my hands at the whole process. Still we had come that far, so we kept plugging away, and finally we had to say “It’s good enough”.  If you ever do this, let me warn you.  You can rewrite and rewrite and never stop, but eventually you just have to take a deep breath and go with it.

Once I made that decision (which was difficult enough) it was time to publish.  I had to go back and read the instructions provided by Blurb and this is where things got interesting.  Blurb is a good company, but their bread and butter is printed books.  They provide eBooks, but since they don’t make anything off of them it seems to be a bit of an after thought.  The instructions for getting your printed books for sale are extremely detailed, but eBooks, not so much.  They do provide a pretty easy way to submit the file to Apple iBooks, but with Amazon you get the files and are pretty much on your own.  Before I could get to that step I had to upload the book though.  It took me forever to figure out that there is no way to review once it is uploaded unless you make the $9.99 purchase, so I did that and discovered there was a problem with my Table of Contents page.  All the other pages looked fine, but the Table of Contents formatting was all messed up. So I called their help line on Monday, and talked to this really nice person, who turned out to be a full time RVer! It turns out you can’t review before paying, so she made some recommendations for adjustments to format, issued me a refund,  and then gave me a code to upload another version for free.  I did that and it was still wrong, but then I tried something else and the third time (which I paid for) it finally it worked.  Awesome!

Once you upload and pay you are given two types of electronic files.  The “.mobi” is for iPads and I was able to download and open it in my iPad. That was a really cool moment.  The “epub” version though I couldn’t find a way to open with my Kindle app.  None of these challenges were made easier by the fact that I was a complete nervous wreck the whole time.  At this point I had quite a bit emotionally invested in the process and my concerns that it wasn’t good enough were exacerbated by the technical challenges.  I had to keep taking lots of deep breaths, walking away from it, and Lee talked me down from the ledge several times. Which is a shame, because all those nerves really cut into the joy of the accomplishment.  Still, I wasn’t that surprised.  I am terrible at doing things for the first time, and almost always anxious when I am outside of my comfort zone, so I kept reminding myself one of the reasons for doing this was to work through those feelings.

Please understand, I am under no illusions that this recipe book is going to become a best seller, but if I am going to do something, I want it to be the best I can do.  And even if no one besides  our friends, family, and blog readers ever buys this book it still needs to be the best I can make it.  Thus the state of emotional turmoil, and I am trying to navigate the pretty complicated world of e-book publishing.  A couple of times I almost asked Lee to handle this part for me, but I knew he wouldn’t do it.  He’s really great about taking care of stuff when I need him to, but not when I am simply afraid of something.  He held my hand through the process, but he absolutely made me do it.  So let’s talk about the process, and again, I am in no way an expert and I am sure there is an easier way.  I certainly hope so. And let me switch to numbered steps to help organize my thoughts here.

  1. Once I received the file I had three choices.  Sell through Bookwright, sell through Amazon, or sell through Apple iBooks.  Selling through Bookwright alone is tempting because they don’t take any portion of the sales for eBooks.  The problem is they don’t have a large global distribution and this is the best choice for people who have an established audience and no intention of finding a broader one.
  2. Submitting to iBooks was pretty easy, but it takes a minimum of two weeks for them to approve or reject the book.  I started that process, but saw something in their guidelines that said the book couldn’t have page numbers, which really confused me.  Mine does have page numbers, and I submitted it anyway because at this point the only way to make a change is to re-pay the $9.99 and do another upload.  That is one of the downsides of using this program for e-books, because every new version costs an additional $9.99.  I wasn’t aware of that when I originally chose the program, because that is not the case for their hard copy books. Also, once it is out on iBooks you cannot make any changes, without un-listing the book and listing a new one.  No versioning.  Still, I submitted it and we’ll see what happens.  They take 30% of your list price off the top and you get the rest, so you have to fill out banking and tax information to get started.
  3. Finally I started the Amazon process.  Information on this was a little tough to come by, so I went with the Kindle process because it seemed the simplest.  You load your file, preview it for free, and then fill out tons of information and submit for the site.  The good news is it took less than 24 hours for it to hit the web site, the bad news was I had a couple of issues.  First off I uploaded the Kindle-friendly version I was provided, and in the preview their was some weird formatting issue with the Kindle version.  That wouldn’t work.  So I went back and uploaded the mobi version, and that actually looked pretty great.  Their spell check also caught two minor spelling errors (I added an extra e in saute on one page) but the only way to fix that at this point would be to go back, change the original, and pay and additional $9.99.  (For the record, I had a total brain failure and added that extra “e”, not her. – Lee) Just to be clear, Ekindle accepts changes to your books, but I have this format I am stuck with and that requires a new upload each time.  If I had done the book in word and then uploaded it that would have made this part much simpler.
  4. Next, I had to set pricing. Amazon Ekindle has two royalty plans.  With one you receive 35% of the list price (that would have been around $3.05 a book) and the other you receive 70% of list price but are charged a data fee depending on the size of the file.  Since my file is around 20 MB this means my $8.99 list price (my choice because I had 80 recipes and I thought 10 cents a recipe plus $1 handling charge was fair) becomes a profit of around $4.00 a book.  I was hoping to make around $5 a book, but I sort of get it.  They are the sales and distribution system and data does cost money, so I have to pay for that.  The thing that concerned me the most though was the fact that in either case they can decide to change your list price.  I have no choice in that and at 70% I only get my portion of whatever list price they change it to.

At this point I could have stopped and found another distribution method, but my head was spinning with all the new information and my emotions were churning, and really I just wanted to get it out there.  So I rolled the dice that they would not change my list price and selected the 70% plan.  That may have been a mistake, but I always have the choice of un-listing the book in the future if they monkey around with the price more than I can live with.  We will see what happens and I promise to let you know.  For some reason I was more OK with making less profit than having my price change, but I suppose that is how book publishing works.  I am learning.

So there you have it.  The Kindle version is up on Amazon and I really like the way the Fire tablet version looks.  Unfortunately the eKindle version is all in black and white, but this copy does not have any formatting issues, which is a good thing.  Click here to see the book and there is a free sample of the first 30 pages you can send to yourself if you just want to check it out.  If you would like to wait for the Apple version, I will let you know when that is available from iBooks.

Either way, thanks for following along as I talked about this process.  It’s been a huge part of my life the last few months and I really needed to share it.  Just writing it down has helped put it into perspective and I feel calmer about the whole thing.  Appreciate your listening and appreciate the support. Take care!

Update:  Initial response was really great.  So nice having people show an interest.  I received several questions about how to view the preview though so I wanted to add a screen shot. You can see a preview online with the Look Inside feature on the left side or the download free sample on the right.  I have encircled both in a red box for easier viewing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book is also available out on Apple now.  Check out this link for the IBooks version.  


Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We very much appreciate any purchase you make via our website links.  There is no additional cost to you and helps support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here

Or you can check out our recipe book filled with 80 real recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. The cookbook specializes in recipes that have a limited number of ingredients, without sacrificing flavor and is organized into categories that matter to full time RVers such as Happy Hours, Travel Days, and Pot Lucks   You can preview the kindle version on  Amazon or the Apple version on Itunes

First Time in Clearwater

I have been to Florida many times in my life including several summers spent on Singer Island, but I have never lived in Florida before.  I have to say, I finally get why people are snowbirds.  The weather is absolutely wonderful.  It’s been in the low 80’s almost every day and although it does rain frequently, it is usually those quick showers that are over in no time.  It’s also very breezy and I am enjoying very much the sun on my face especially when I see that New Hampshire is experiencing ice storms and weather in the teens.  I know, I am sorry, I certainly don’t mean to rub it in, but part of me is wondering why I didn’t do this a long time ago.  Yes, I am sure I would find the summers miserable, but I won’t be here in the summer, and for right now this weather is absolutely amazing. (I have no such qualms. New England weather sucks in the winter, even people who have lived there their entire lives think so. – Lee)

It’s been a busy week…as you know my grandmother passed away, and I spent Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday with my mother, grandfather, and aunts and uncle in North Palm.  I’d like to talk about what I did on the other days though.  When we pulled into the site, we were a little taken aback that our site number had been changed at the last minute.  I made these reservations months ago, but I have to say I am glad our site changed.  We are staying for 10 weeks (while Lee goes to RV Tech school) at the Rainbow Village Largo 55+ RV community. Yes, I know we are not 55+, but they are allowed a certain amount of guests who are under that age and we got an exemption which cracks me up.  (Trace is so close to 55 as to make no difference, but we’re calling it an “exception.” I’m considerably younger, but since we’re married they had to let me in as well. – Lee) We had pretty low expectations coming in.  Just a reasonable place to stay close to the school, but I really like it.  Our new site was pretty tough to get into, but once there, we are in a nice spot.  So far no one is in the site we face so it’s like being on a double lot.  We are also surrounded by a group of French Canadians and it’s nice hearing them speak in French all the time.  Adds to the atmosphere.  (In addition, there’s something really nice about not being able to understand conversations that you can’t help but overhear. It just turns into background noise. At our previous seasonal site in Swanzey, people were so loud, it was almost impossible not to just start participating. Sometimes I did, quietly enough so they couldn’t hear me, which is a shame, in retrospect. I often had compelling things to add. Also, everyone here thinks I’m Canadian, and they keep speaking to me in French. I keep apologizing for not being Canadian, but that seems to just reinforce their idea that I’m Canadian. It’s a vicious circle, with no end in sight. C’est une honte. – Lee)

So far people are friendly but have largely left us alone which is nice and if we do want to get to know folks there are plenty of opportunities with a daily calendar that has 3-5 free activities a day.  It’s clean, neat, and I feel completely safe as we are gated in and surrounded by our own security force of older people who are paying attention to what’s going on!!  Plus 65% of the structures are permanent so it feels like a little community more than a trailer park which was a concern of mine.

Right outside our camper in Rainbow Village, Largo Fl

Right outside our camper in Rainbow Village, Largo Fl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though we aren’t on the water or really near anything cool there are many things to see and do within a half hour drive.  The beach is 15-20 minutes away (depending on traffic) and Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tarpon Springs are all within easy driving distance.  It’s quite a bit cooler here than even two hours south, and since we are still getting acclimated to the weather appreciate that.  Lee really wanted to see the sun set on the ocean since he hadn’t had the opportunity since the mid-90’s, so on New Years Day we went to Clearwater Beach which is considered one of the best beaches in the US.  The beach is beautiful with tons of white sand, but it was a bit crowded for my taste and after checking out Pier 60 (which has vendors and restaurants) we moved down to Sand Key Park which I liked much better.  It was $5 for an all day parking pass at Sand Key (versus $3 an hour at the Hilton on the Clearwater beach) and much less crowded.  We stayed for quite awhile looking for shells, watching birds, and eventually seeing the sunset and it was a very nice experience.

PIer 60 in Clearwater

PIer 60 in Clearwater

Clearwater beach

Clearwater beach

Sand Key State Park

Sand Key State Park (Totally different ocean than Pier 60. It’s not even on the same side. This one is on the right, and the other one is on the left, as the pictures show. – Lee)

Message I wrote to Lee on the beach

Message I wrote to Lee on the beach (Never trust anyone who writes an I.O.U. in something as temporary as sand.- Lee)

 

Thursday and Friday we spent the time getting acclimated to the area.  I was nervous about my first haircut here, since I had heard horror stories from people about changing hairdressers and had the same person cutting my hair for over 10 years, but we found a Super Cuts and Lindsey did a great job.  We also tried out one of the three local grocery stores. We’re going to try them all and see which one we like best. I am finding those types of things to be unsettling..not knowing which grocery store to go to, or where to get my hair cut, but as I knock each one off my list I am finding it’s much easier than I thought it would be.  I am overdue on a teeth cleaning as well, so calling Aspen Dental soon which Cori recommended to me because they are a national chain, so I will tell you how that went after the appointment. I also started cooking again, something I have kind of gotten away from with all the traveling and actually menu planned and shopped for all next week.  My first couple of attempts; Individual Beef Wellington and Chicken Parmesan were not that great (meat overcooked and undercooked respectively), but Lee appreciated the effort and since he only has 1/2 hour for lunch at the school every day it’s important I get back into the habit.  Plus we are absolutely committed to living within our budget this month.  Originally my intention was to start posting budget numbers last month, but things were so crazy with the moves and unexpected startup costs, I decided to start fresh this month.  I’ll be completely honest, we did not do as well as I would have hoped but we also didn’t completely blow the bank either.  My advice is expect to plan to spend extra that first month, just like you would if you bought a new home or moved into a new apartment.

Saturday we drove down to Fort Meyers to see Jo and Ben.  One of the best things about being here is so many of our friends are close by.  We saw Kelly and Bill and the night we came in (they made us a terrific dinner) and we hadn’t seen Jo and Ben since they left Maine.  Ben took a six month contract with the Fort Meyers hospital which he likes very much and Jo is working on call for 3 different hospice companies.  Plus they really really like their site which sits right on a canal and they have their own little private boat dock which goes to a river which has tons of manatees in it.  (That is utter nonsense. There is tons of water, tons of birds, tons of mangrove trees. There are not tons of manatees. Not even a few pounds of manatees. We saw no manatees. We were there, we were in the river, we looked. No manatees. I think it’s all a big marketing ploy. Just like in New Hampshire with their alleged “moose”. I lived there over 13 years, never saw any “moose”. Don’t believe the lies about the moose, and the manatees. – Lee) After tons of hugs, talking a bit, and eating a quick lunch we set out on their boat.  Ben took us up to the power plant which dumps hot water into the river and is a favorite hanging out spot of the manatees.  (Suuuuure. – Lee) It was a glorious day and although we didn’t see any manatees we did see lots of birds and some very cool mangroves.  We had a terrific time and I am so glad we are close to our good friends again.

Ben and Lee on the boat

Ben and Lee on the boat (You see how Jo and Ben are almost gleeful in their laughter about how we feel for the “manatee” story? – Lee)

Lee and Jo

Lee and Jo

Loved the pelicans just hanging out.

Loved the pelicans just hanging out. (Those aren’t real. They’re sophisticated animatronic pelican statues. – Lee)

 

Lessons Learned

  • Budget extra money for the first month or so…you’ll need it
  • Getting a hair cut in a new place doesn’t have to be traumatic…BUT be prepared to describe exactly how you want it.  Your former hairdresser can write down important information like color, type of cut, length etc for you before you go on the road.

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First Time on Jekyll Island

The day after Christmas we were excited to get on the road and hopefully into some warmer weather, but it took us a little longer than expected to finish packing in the morning.  I guess we were out of practice being in one place for so long.  (For someone with a master’s degree, she’s not very good at spelling “slept in and then lay around all morning like a slacker”. – Lee) We left around 9:50am but thought it would be fine since it was only a 5 hour travel day.  Also we made Cori’s Traveling Day Shredded Pork (which is yummy and convenient as an “on the road lunch item”…see below for the recipe) so we were all set.  Unfortunately I guess it was a travel day for a lot of other people because the traffic was terrible.  I was really really surprised, because it was a Friday I thought for sure the roads would be light, but every time we got near a major city…Columbia, Charleston, and Savannah traffic really slowed down.  We also saw several accidents…not due to weather as it was a gorgeous sunny day, just folks not paying attention I suppose.  They were not minor accidents either as we saw two people put on stretchers.  Anyway it took much much longer than expected to get to our campground in Brunswick, GA so we rolled in around 5pm.  Yikes!!  Long travel day but at least we had just enough time to get into the site before it got dark.

We are staying at the Golden Isles RV Park  for a couple of nights because I wanted to see Jekyll Island.  It’s not a great park, but it’s Passport America and only cost $17 a night plus it is close to everything we wanted to see.  It’s not awful or anything, but it doesn’t have much in the way of redeeming qualities and the entire campground has this funky marsh smell.  (This entire area has a funky marsh smell. Somewhere between rotten eggs and sewage. It’s really gross. – Lee) I thought it was the entire area, but once we get a little closer to the water the smell dissipates.  (Her nose just got used to it.-Lee) Anyway, like I said, not a place I would stay for a week or anything but fine for a couple of cheap nights. (Fine for a couple of cheap nights. That’s how she ended up with me. Thank you, I’m here all weekend. Try the veal. –  Lee)

We got up in the morning and went over to Jekyll Island.  The Island is a State Park and survives mainly on self funding.  It cost $6 per car for a day pass to get into the park which took us back a little, but it was absolutely worth it.  There were minimal crowds and I really loved the island.  Beautiful marsh areas and amazing huge beaches that we spent some time walking on.  There are also some nice neighborhoods with normal houses in them (as opposed to mini-mansions) and there are beautiful bike paths absolutely everywhere.   The first stop was the beach and we found a nice little access spot down near the soccer camp on the east side of the island.  Posted signs reminded you it was a nesting area and asked to stay off the dunes which of course we did.  It was absolutely beautiful and we took a lovely walk with some great pictures.

Entrance to Jekyll Island

Entrance to Jekyll Island

Trees were growing out of the beach very cool

Trees were growing out of the beach very cool

My sweetie pie

My sweetie pie. (Day 39, the seagulls still think I’m a seagull. They suspect nothing. – Lee)

 

 

 

 

After the beach we drove around the island a bit and stopped the Georgia Sea Turtle Research Center.  I have loved sea turtles ever since getting to swim with one while scuba diving in Honduras and was thrilled to stumble across the research center.  It was $7 per person, a very reasonable price,  and had educational areas and the hospice area where the recuperating turtles live.  (This is Georgia math, mind you. The sign said $7 per person, and they charged me $13.98. – Lee) Each turtle has an information sheet that says in detail what happened to it,and the plan for either its release into the wild or its permanent placement with an aquarium.  They also have baby turtles and they watch nests and breeding areas closely in the summer months.  I was happy to pay my $7 ($6.99 – Lee) to such a worthy cause and more than felt I got my money’s worth.  The gift shop is evil though, with waaaay too many cute turtle things to buy. (If she had read all the little information plaques, she would have learned that sea turtles are rabid capitalists. – Lee) 

Me at the sign

Me at the sign

Skeleton of a prehistoric turtle very cool

Skeleton of a giant turtle very cool

The research assistants were very serious about their turtles

The research assistants were very serious about their turtles

The babies were marked and were being weighed when we were there

The babies were marked and were being weighed when we were there

 

This one was called the pumpkin king which cracked me up. He's almost ready to be released.

This one was called the Pumpkin King which cracked me up. He’s almost ready to be released.

This poor little girl had her flipper caught in wire and had to have it amputated. She swims pretty good with three though. She was brought from Florida

This poor little girl had her flipper caught in wire and had to have it amputated. She swims pretty good with three though. She was brought from Florida. (I had some funny stuff to say about a three-flippered sea turtle, but it seemed cruel, so I’m keeping it to myself. – Lee)

I bought this shirt because it made me think of DeDe my mother-in-law

I bought this shirt because it made me think of DeDe, my mother-in-law

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the institute we went to the campground to check it out.  Jekyll Island campground is in a terrific location, but unfortunately the sites are right on top of each other.  It’s in a terrific location with bike paths that lead to absolutely everywhere on the island.   The campsites cost $38 a night plus a $6 daily fee for parking which goes to the State Park. The monthly rates were much better at $550 a month off-season and $650 a month high season. I would definitely recommend  the larger pull throughs D5, D6, and G21, G22, G23.  I say larger but they are still very close to your neighbor.  The campground has its own fenced in bird watching area though that I absolutely loved and again the location cannot be beat. (We cannot stress enough how close together these sites are. There were several places where the awning of one RV was within a few inches of the neighbor’s RV. For that kind of money, there should be some more separation. It’s a campground, not an airline.- Lee)

The bird watching area at the Jekyll Island campground. More campgrounds should have these...VERY cool

The bird watching area at the Jekyll Island campground. More campgrounds should have these…VERY cool. Then we went over to the historic part of the island and saw the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  From the late 1800’s to 1950 it was a private island owned by the club and you could only enter through one set of docks.  There are lots of old “cottages” and a grand hotel and it was still decorated for Christmas.  The Hotel was beautiful from the outside and we took more great pictures.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

One of the many "cottages"

One of the many “cottages”

Waterfront

Waterfront

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about having lunch at the pier, but were good (Another typo. She misspelled broke and over-budget. – Lee) and drove back to the camper and had lunch there.  After a quick break we went to St. Simons island which was MUCH more crowded and touristy.  I preferred Jekyll’s Island but we did find two things from my Roadside America App .  We found a bulldog covered with pennies promoting the local ASPCA and these wonderful carvings in trees which are supposed to be the spirits of dead sailors.  The carvings were tough to find, but led us into a lovely little neighborhood tucked back in a corner.

Bull Dog covered with pennies for the Humane Society

Bull Dog covered with pennies for the Humane Society

Carvings in trees are throughout St. Simons island but hard to find

Carvings in trees are throughout St. Simons island but hard to find

Sailor's spirit carving in tree

Sailor’s spirit carving in tree

Sailor's spirit ...this one was a bit creepy

Sailor’s spirit …this one was a bit creepy

One of the "cottages" tucked back in this neighborhood we found

One of the “cottages” tucked back in this neighborhood we found

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally we went and saw the St. Simon’s Lighthouse and spent a few quiet moments on a side street pier.

Saint Simon's Lighthouse

Saint Simon’s Lighthouse

Taking a few quiet moments by the ocean

Taking a few quiet moments by the ocean

 

 

 

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(I felt compelled to add this picture of the stairs that Trace is sitting at the top of. These stairs literally go down into the water. That seems odd to me. Georgia is a weird place that smells weird. I don’t like it. I’m going to Florida tomorrow. – Lee)

It was an absolutely beautiful day…sunny and 73 degrees, but I was a bit tired so we decided to come back to the camper.  I would definitely like to come back to Jekyll Isle sometime later in our travels, but am looking forward to getting to Clearwater tomorrow and seeing our friends Kelly and Bill.  Kelly is making dinner for us and she is an outstanding cook…so I can’t wait!!! (Also, we’ll be in Clearwater for like, 10 weeks, so if you are in the area, and aren’t weird, and don’t smell weird, send us a message. We’ll do a quick background check and see if we want you to take us to dinner or something in a very well lit, public place with lots of witnesses. – Lee)

P.S. Here’s Lee’s great egret pic.  He got a little pouty that it didn’t make the blog and was only on the bird page 🙂

Great Egret

Great Egret

 

Cori’s Traveling Day Shredded Pork 

  • 3-4 lbs of pork 
  • 1-2 bottles BBQ sauce
  • Water

1.  Put pork in a crock pot with some water and 1/3 bottle BBQ sauce for 4-5 hours

2.  Drain grease

3.  Shred pork and add remainder of one bottle of sauce.  Add additional to consistency desired

4.  Cook additional time as needed to soften pork

5.  Serve on buns.   Freezes well and heats very well in microwave.

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